Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Praying in God's will

“LORD, teach us to pray!”

Luke 11:1
 

Why do we pray, when we pray? What is really behind it? How should it be? If we think that prayer is simply a means of gaining something for ourselves (or others), we are missing the mark. What should we learn by it? God is not a genie in a bottle! Getting our wishes fulfilled is nice, but if that is all that is important to add value to our prayers, we are not really praying. God wants us to change and see our surroundings in a different manner, and not vice versa! We need that. The sequence is crucial. When we start seeing through God’s eyes, we are praying in His will, and then everything else can also change. We see Solomon, who prayed to God for wisdom in order to righteously govern the people. He received over and above that which he could ever have wished for from God (2 Chronicles 1:10-12). To strive after God’s kingdom above all other things (Matthew 6:33), is to recognize God as the One who is life. Without reference to the living truth, everything else is quite meaningless and worthless. Then one merely exists, but doesn’t live in the proper sense. It is about a relationship with the Creator of all things. What we should perceive is the new man, who is indeed able to believe, pray and live – in the will of the Most High God. We often make the mistake of seeing the shortcomings of the old man and then praying for this and that and lamenting our suffering. But God does not repair our old man, who has died (2 Corinthians 5:12). We are not recycled, but renewed! The new and living in us, now needs nourishment and experience. That is sanctification. The prayer life is part of it. Whoever is self-satisfied, does not pray! The new man wants to satisfy God, not himself. We are able to change things ourselves, when God has changed us – in childlike faith – in prayer – in the power of the Holy Spirit. When our prayer reflects only dissatisfaction, justifying ourselves and defending ourselves or even indifference, then we are not ASKING God for anything (John 16:23). God loves us – because we love Jesus and believe that the Father has revealed Himself in the Son (John 16:26-28).

This means that we need Jesus as Mediator to the forgiveness of our sin (this is the foundation), but not to edify ourselves, rather to honour God with our lives. This alone makes us to that which God wants to see in us and is able to see, through Jesus. To grow in faith and deepen our relationship with God (made possible through Jesus), means that we need to become aware of our dependence upon God. Likewise, an understanding of sin, faith, the world and evil – also in our personal lives. And to respond thereto accordingly, in the will of God. And indeed in a trusting, adult manner – without fear, but with reverence and with purposeful prayer. The goal is to become strong and steadfast in our faith (Ephesians 4:11-16). Jesus is not merely the one who carries our prayers, He is the reason why our prayers are even able reach God. To pray in Jesus’ Name simply means that we are able to believe that His precious blood enabled the forgiveness of our sin and the way to the Kingdom of God. Jesus is our Friend and first-born Brother – we are bought at an expensive price! Therefore, we are also precious to God and our prayers in Jesus’ Name reach Him. Jesus ascended to heaven and sent His Spirit to believers, as He promised. It is the same Spirit which connected Jesus with His eternal Father in heaven. To get in touch with the spiritual reality, we must allow this same Spirit to work in us. I do not work so that God can work, but vice versa! Jesus only did that which He saw His Father doing (John 5:19). Faith and prayer is a matter of the heart – is your heart wide or narrow? The Old Testament Prophet Isaiah, said it in this manner: “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes” (Isaiah 54:2). Our lives are planned and seen in the holiest place of all time and world by the Almighty God. Therefore, we should always prayer in God’s will (like Jesus), as well as investing patience and trust. No-one knows what is meaningful and right for us better than the eternal God. HE Himself loves us.

(Translated by Linda Gates)

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